Ten jockeys, including 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning jockey Mike Smith, are set to ride to benefit Louisiana horsemen in the Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge Nov. 10 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
A team of New Jersey and New York based jockeys will face riders from Louisiana in four races - the third, fourth, sixth and seventh – on that evening. First race post time is 7:30 p.m.
Donations will go to Louisiana horsemen through the Race Track Chaplaincy of America. The Meadowlands will contribute $10,000 toward the fundraising effort.
For a contribution to the Katrina fund, track guests will be able to obtain autographs from the riders between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
So far, those who have agreed to participate include Joe Bravo, Craig Perret, Gary Stevens, Kent Desormeaux, Aaron Gryder, Mike Smith, Mark Guidry and Stewart Elliott. Captain of the Louisiana team will be retired Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye.
The competing jockeys will be donating their riding fees.
"The winners in this competition will be the horsemen who have had their homes, farms, and livelihoods washed away by Hurricane Katrina," said Dennis Dowd, senior vice president for racing for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority. "We hope the riders, trainers and horse owners as well as the public will be generous in their donations. With the funds raised by this event, hopefully we can help the Louisiana horsemen and kick start the rebirth of the racing industry in Louisiana."
Desormeaux [Maurice], Perret [New Orleans], Guidry [Lafayette] and Delahoussaye [New Iberia] were all born in Louisiana.